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AdamThomas 02-26-2011 09:41 AM

Are kicks important in MMA?
Hey guys, I was just wondering whether kicks are important or not in MMA?

Even though I've been training in thai boxing for 2 years I'm still not a great kicker. I'm good with my hands because I've been boxing since I was 10 years old, and I'm also pretty good at throwing knees, elbows and fighting in the clinch. It's just kicks I suck at. Also I noticed when I did MMA sparring with my muay thai instructor I was able to take him down easily whenever he tried throwing a kick higher than my waist. So yeah, are kicks important?

Also, what's the best way to fight against someone who has decent kicks when you don't?

G_Land 02-26-2011 09:59 AM

High kicks are dangerous but not efective as a solid leg kick. Imo . Defending leg kicks is just as important . I would rather take a solid punch to the face than a good leg kick they hurt and take away your balance and power

Saenchai 02-26-2011 11:21 AM

yes, they're don't see them as much as in k-1 fights but that's normal cus there's no ground fighting in k-1 plus it's easier to catch a kick with mma gloves then boxing gloves and then use that to take oponent down or counter him or most of the time low kicks are see high kick from time to time but that's mostly due to oponents eye being closed or using it as surprise cus people don't expect that, especially if fighter is not stand-up oriented...middle kicks are pretty rare but some high skilled stand up fighters like shogun or machida still use them effectively all the time so yeah, they're important if you know when to use them and how to use them!

CFT_Ian 02-26-2011 11:44 AM

Just go watch Faber vs. Aldo, and see how important kicks are.

xeberus 02-26-2011 03:34 PM


enceledus 02-26-2011 03:51 PM

A lot of good fighters use them all the time. So I'd think so.

SonOfZion 02-26-2011 03:57 PM

Rampage Jackson says no, dont use them, dont check them, dont acknowledge their existence. :P

grkted55 02-27-2011 01:41 PM

It depends, a fight is a fight, when a kick needs to be thrown, throw it hard and fast but you definitely have to be an expert to beat a real pro with kicks.

Squirrelfighter 02-27-2011 02:37 PM

Yes. Setting up punches, finishing combinations, countering the wrestler, controlling range, finishing the fight. These are all area's where the kick is vitally effective.

Using a kick you can keep your guessing as to what you're gameplan is. You can come out and throw the occassional kick at the beginning/end of a combination, or on their own as individual attacks. Another advantage of the kick is that if you are landing with any regularity, and they're damaging, it has the tendancy to make your opponent A. skittish and unwilling to commit, or B. Dangerously aggressive and overcommittal.

When attacking the legs, you can limit mobility and explosiveness, making the opponent less able to burst for a takedown, or less able to quickly sprawl, also, less able to properly balance and pivot.

Attacking the head/body are very situational. Attacking the head should only be done (IMO) when you "feel it" so to speak. The same way a grappler can feel when its the right time to shoot. Attacking the body should only be done when your opponent's attention is elsewhere, i.e. evading punches or reseting. Attacking the body puts your leg in the perfect position for a single leg takedown attempt.

Forrest Griffin vs Rampage Jackson
Pedro Rizzo vs Ken Shamrock
Almost every CroCop PrideFC fight.
Shogun vs Machida 1 or 2.

North 03-04-2011 08:11 PM

I'm a little late, but yeah. Some kicks are more important/useful than others, mind you. A good front kick can feel like getting jabbed with a spear or something, as it's got just as much or more power than a punch, and about 50% more reach than a straight punch. A good roundhouse kick is like getting blasted with a baseball bat. Then you get into things like crescent kicks or axe kicks, where the risk to reward ratio starts to drop drastically (in MMA/street).

Jardine pillaged Liddell with kicks to the body and (I think?) legs. I think that's another good example of the viability of kicks.

Not to be offensive to you or your teacher, but it could just be that you're a better takedown artist than your teacher is a kicker.

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